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The Abandonment of the Jews: America and the Holocaust, 1941-1945 New edition Edition

17 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1565844155
ISBN-10: 1565844157
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Editorial Reviews Review

It has long been alleged that officials in the Roosevelt administration knew, in surprising detail, about Adolf Hitler's plans to exterminate all the Jews in Nazi Europe--and that these officials did little to prevent the massacre, refusing asylum to shiploads of Jewish refugees and failing to order the bombing of railway lines leading to Auschwitz, Treblinka, and other concentration camps. David S. Wyman examines the evidence, concluding that senior American officials could indeed have saved many thousands, if not millions, of European Jews by intervening earlier. In this controversial work, he suggests, with good cause, that a combination of anti-Semitism and indifference to anything not perceived as being of direct strategic importance to the United States indirectly led to countless deaths. --Gregory McNamee

From Library Journal

LJ's reviewer dubbed this "a comprehensive and well-written narrative on `America's response to the Nazi assault on European Jews.'" Though Wyman does place blame, he also explains why the country and its leaders responded as they did to the Final Solution. This edition contains a new afterword by the author. It remains one of the "best" titles on the subject.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 458 pages
  • Publisher: New Press; New edition edition (April 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565844157
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565844155
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,647,313 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

71 of 76 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 20, 1999
Format: Paperback
For anyone who has wondered whether there was something the allies could have done to obstruct the Nazi holocaust, Wyman presents the troubling answers. They are very consistent with similar investigations of the British record by Wasserstein and Gilbert. This book had to be written, as part of a truth-telling process essential for a society to understand itself. A person of conscience, as well as a painstaking historian, Wyman does not accept the bureaucratic excuses for inaction at face value. It is an unpopular line of investigation, because it upsets the myths that the USA was on the side of the angels, fighting the war to save the Jews, and that FDR was a near saint. Wyman remains cool and balanced, never forgetting that the Allied culpability was on an entirely different level from that of the Germans and their helpers, but not sugar-coating Allied indifference, obstruction and lack of imagination about trying to stem the extermination program. For example, the simple step of broadcasting to the European countries, where Jews were being rounded up, to tell them what would happen at their destination, might have slowed down the deportations by stiffening the resistance. A healthy reminder that our historical record has plenty of which to be ashamed, and that governments, even in enlightened democracies, often perform in ways that don't stand up to moral inspection. A call to vigilance.
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56 of 61 people found the following review helpful By David M. Sapadin on June 2, 2005
Format: Paperback
Wyman's choice of a title is indicative of what is wrong with this book. However, there is also much right about it as well. "Abandonment" implies there was some sort of relationship to begin with between European Jews and and the United States. In order to "abandon" someone, you have to "leave." The US was never "there" to begin with. To say that America "turned its back" to European Jewry during WWII implies that it once had its back NOT turned to European Jews...and this simply was never the case. It wasn't even the case within the United States. The U.S. paid lip-service to American Jewry by including a few in the Roosevelt Administration, a couple on the Supreme Court, but there was no truly significant Jewish influence even in the United States at that time. Therefore this is a study of much more than simply the Roosevelt Administration. It is a study of America and any study of America during the time after WWI through the mid 1960's must include an acknowledgement of American anti-Semitism. It reached its peak, ironically, during WWII. FDR was the consummate politician. He may have held sympathy for what was happening to the Jews of Europe - but he was a POLITICIAN! And we all need to remember that. Had the American people demanded it, Roosevelt would have acted. Better put, there was enough anti-Semitism to make rescue a "political impossibility." Politics is, among other things, the "art of the possible." The real tragedy Wyman thus exposes is American anti-Semitism. Most significantly (and unfortunately) in the State Department. Wyman is "nice" (in my opinion) to Breckinridge Long, one of the most destructive anti-Semites in American History.Read more ›
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58 of 67 people found the following review helpful By M. D Roberts on October 5, 2002
Format: Paperback
The reader will not want to believe what is being read.
The evil, satanic Nazi regime and it's methods intent on the slaughter and genocide of the European Jews is well documented elsewhere.
Little is written or heard about the passive accomplices....I hesitate in using the latter word, but none other can really suffice in this context. The author has provided an extremely valuable service with this work in bringing this subject to our attention.
It is difficult to estimate how many of the six million murdered Jews could possibly have been saved through a concerted, determined Allied rescue campaign. However, suffice to say no such measures were taken and all the victims perished.
The author documents that the US State Department and the British Foreign Office has absolutely no intention of rescuing large numbers of European Jews from the Nazi genocide machine.
Indeed, the author shows that the Allies actually feared that the Nazi regime would release tens of thousands of Jews into Allied hands and the inherent responsibility that such a move would impose upon them.
Such a move by the Nazis would have inevitably placed immense pressure on the British to open Palestine to increased Jewish immigration, and the US to admit even larger numbers of Jews to their own shores.
A situation that neither Government wanted to face. The British, although allowing virtually unhindered Arab immigration from surrounding Arab nations into Palestine, had their own reasons for refusing increased Jewish entry into what is now Israel. Instead, the British provided concentration camps of their own on Cyprus for those Jews seeking what they perceived as `illegal' entry to Palestine. A damning historical indictment, which being British and a non-Jew, I still find difficult to stomach.
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45 of 58 people found the following review helpful By ESAR SHVARTZ on March 17, 2000
Format: Paperback
Wyman wrote this book in the mid 1980's. Since then, many other historical studies have shown the same shamful findings:FDR and the State Department and many segments of the American public, including most of the Jewish leaders, not only suppressed the news on the extermination of the European Jews, but did their best to hinder efforts of rescue. Wyman includes undisputed sources for every fact, but being a gentile, he is too soft on the American Jewish leaders who looked at FDR as a God, and in order not to upset him, kept quiet. For those who still worship FDR, consider this: A million Americans are stranded in Europe during War World II and the Germans are systematically shipping them to concentration camps, torturing and gassing them. What would FDR and his administration have done? Conduct the war in a gentlemantary manner with taking of prisoners, etc., (a quarter million Axis prisoners were shipped to the US while a common American and British response to the abandonment of the Jews was no ships available), or immediately start a military operation to rescue them. Readers who still believe that saving the Jews was not possible because of the war effort, should read historical books on Great Britain during the war. While the British refused to consider any plan of saving the Jews they deployed more than 100,000 troops and a large armada in Palestine and the Med Sea for the sole purpose of capturing Jews who escaped the European hell. In 1940, the British had elaborate plans to attack would be German invaders with low flying planes dropping gas on the invaders, despite the Geneva agreements that the German kept (except with respect to the Jews, of course,who were gassed by the millions).Read more ›
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